One year ago: Elizabeth Clare Prophet
Elizabeth Clare Prophet, the spiritual leader of the Church Universal and Triumphant, made big news when she and at least 2,000 of her followers stockpiled weapons and supplies in an underground bunker in Montana in preparation for nuclear war.
Prophet, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, died one year ago in Bozeman, Mont. She was 70.
The Church Universal and Triumphant combined aspects of the world's major religions, mixing Western philosophy with mysticism. Prophet was called "Guru Ma" by her followers, who believed she received "dictations" from such "ascended masters" as Jesus, Buddha and St. Germain.
Prophet told The Times in 1991 that newspapers had distorted her statements about the nuclear war, "literally fabricating that I had predicted the end of the world. Even if there is a nuclear war, I believe we can survive it. I don't think it's the end of the planet."
Prophet founded the church after her husband died in 1973. In 1981, the church purchased a remote, 12,000-acre site in Montana adjoining Yellowstone National Park, to which close associates and followers soon started moving. She said they felt "divinely led" there from their previous headquarters in Pasadena.
Prophet retired in 1999 from an active role in the church, which once had about 50,000 members.
For more on the spiritual leader, read Elizabeth Clare Prophet's obituary by The Times.
-- Michael Farr
Photo: Elizabeth Clare Prophet. Credit: Los Angeles Times